The Council argues to protect traditional arts in ministerial order that declares the coast as an area of special conservation.

Xábia Council has registered its arguments against the ministerial order which declares the entire coast of the municipality as a special conservation area (SCI and ZEPA) along a strip of about one kilometre wide.

As agreed in the last council plenary session, the municipality has formalized its arguments against the new regulations in relation to fishing uses since fishing with nets that touch the seabed are prohibited, including smaller net techniques such as trammel or “tresmall” which some seven boats with 18 crew members from the Cofradía de Xábia currently use.

The Council has requested that the section related to the uses and activities related to professional fishing are modified, allowing the use of these smaller techniques since it is a traditional method with deep roots in the culture of Xábia and that, as reflected by recent studies by the University of Alicante and the Oceanographic Foundation, has little or no impact of the underwater Posidonia meadows and on the habitats which are to be protected by the Ministerial Order.

A technical report that supports these arguments refers to the fact that fishing using the “tresmall” method does not trawl the seabed and reports that the attitude and predisposition of the local fishing sector in Xábia has always been one of collaboration in the face of any proposed conservation initiative. In fact, their knowledge of the seabed has been key in the correct placement of mooring buoys.

In addition, the colonies of Mediterranean cormorants which nest on the cliffs in the south of the municipality have not suffered any damage due to the traditional fishing method being fully compatible with the development of these colonies which have shown an increase over the past couple of decades.

Since the decision to present the town’s arguments against this Ministerial Order was accepted unanimously, the formal documention was presented by mayor José Chulvi to the representatives from the political parties in the municipality. It also includes other technical considerations on the points of the draft which needed to be clarified, including how the protection proposals affects existing infrastructures such as the underwater outfall of waste water treatment plant (WWTP) or the brine discharge from the seawater desalination plant (EDAM).

SOURCE: Press Release – Ayuntamiento de Xabia

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